Often when families are together, they are all on their phones or in their own worlds. It is important to find ways to bring your family closer together and build positive habits that will last a lifetime.
Make meal times family time and have a rule that you will not be on your phone at the dinner table. This will give everyone the chance to discuss their day without distraction.
1. Eat Your Meals Together
Eating meals together is an important bonding activity for families. However, it is often difficult to incorporate into a busy lifestyle. Try to make family mealtimes a priority, even if it is just one or two times a week.
During family meals, turn off the TV and limit distractions like phones, tablets and computers. Make it a point to serve a variety of foods from all food groups including healthy fats, whole grains and fruits and vegetables. Involve everyone in preparing and serving meals, especially kids and teens. This is a great way to teach cooking skills and healthy eating habits.
Meal conversations can be an opportunity to talk about school and work or share funny stories and memories. Be sure to keep discussions positive and avoid disciplinary issues at the dinner table. You can also try to incorporate fun activities into your family mealtimes such as a questions jar or using games that get everybody engaged. By bringing your family closer together, you can help them feel supported and confident in their abilities and decisions.
2. Be Cheerleaders for Each Other
Whether it’s cheering at your daughter’s basketball game, celebrating her good test score or laughing at her dad’s jokes, boosting each member of your family is a great way to bring you all closer together. It’s also a great way to teach your kids how to be supportive of others.
If you’re like most families, the rare weeknight moments where everyone is home together get shoehorned in around work and extracurricular activities. Making family dinner a priority is an easy, yet effective, way to keep your whole family connected.
It’s also a great time to discuss the day’s events and set goals for the future. It can be as simple as setting a goal to take a fitness class together or something more complex such as planning your next vacation. Creating these goals is important because, according to Charles Duhigg in his book The Power of Habit, core family habits start a cascade of other positive behaviors. It’s not hard to see why that would be the case!
3. Make Time for Each Other
If you want your family to get closer, it’s important to make time for each other. Whether it’s going to your child’s soccer match together, or spending time at the local park as a family, making sure to have quality family time is vital.
This can be difficult with busy schedules, but it is possible to create a routine that allows everyone to spend quality time together. Try setting aside a certain time each week to meet as a family and talk about your day. You might also consider making a list of things to do as a family, and working to check off each item as it gets done.
It can also be beneficial to make time to go out and do something different together each month. Whether it’s an outing to a museum or a day trip to the beach, getting your family out of the house will help them feel connected to each other and the community.
4. Be Active Together
When your family comes together, everyone needs to be on the same page. This means everyone doing their part to run the house and care for each other. For instance, everyone helping with the laundry and taking a turn to cook dinner for the whole group.
It’s also important for each family member to have a unique hobby or activity that they can enjoy together. Whether it’s a sport, a music class, or even a family board game night. Attending each of these activities is a great way to show that your family members are valued and appreciated for their individuality.
Being active together can also help your family to stay healthy. A regular exercise routine helps to keep everyone’s blood pressure in a healthy range and can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Getting involved in family sports can be a fun, bonding way to promote a healthy lifestyle and create a habit that will last a lifetime. For example, joining a soccer league or working as a team on a charity run can encourage everyone to stay healthy while having fun.
5. Do Things Together
One of the most important parts of family life is spending time together doing fun activities. This will help the whole family bond and get to know each other better. This can include anything from playing a board game together to going for a hike. Family traditions are also a great way to bond as a family. These can be centered around holidays or they can be something as simple as having pizza and family game night once a week.
Spending time together can also be an opportunity to work on communication skills and learn how to solve problems in healthy ways. Families that practice positive communication are more likely to seek out healthier coping mechanisms when dealing with stress or conflict.
Lastly, spending time with family can be a great way to show your love and support for each other. Even if it is as simple as telling someone that you think they look great or saying “I appreciate you.” It will make everyone in your family feel loved and cared for. This will make them want to be a part of your family and keep them coming back for more.